Traveled out to Watertown CT last weekend to see Jack Hardy - my FRFF friend Barbara hosts occasional folk acts in her backyard (barn) as well as in her living room.
It's always wonderful to see talented musician's in intimate settings (sans microphones and sound systems), and Jack was especially wonderful - he has such a deep and long career, and is such a devotee of the songwriting process, that he can just create a set on the fly from his songbook that is diverse, entertaining, and top quality. I really enjoyed the evening.
Jack is one of those artists who I've been brushing up against for years - on compilations (most notably the Fast Folk samplers which I used to get), at concerts, at festivals. I saw him featured at Grassy Hill a few years back, and most recently, he's sat and chatted in the Falcon Ridge merch trailer as I checked in his merchandise. So it was nice to see him featured in a full set and nice to pick up his new CD (Rye Grass) - I'm usually swamped with music at FRFF (and have a limited music buying budget) and try to pick up the CDs of new (to me) artists, and often old friends slip past.
I'm in the process of sorting out stuff as I prepare to move, and just this weekend I packed away all my CDs (I have many; even though I do download music these days I'm still a collector of physical music) - and so I picked up Jack's CD with a little concern (oh no, more "stuff"). But for artists, buying a CD is an act of devotion, a vote of support for what is undoubtedly a difficult (from a financial perspective) life. Maybe we could toss an extra $10 into the pot when it comes to paying for a concert, but that maybe tips the balance into charity and besides, artists want their music shared, listened to, appreciated. So, one more CD for the "stuff" pile.